As time passes by, business trends come and go. As a result, there comes a time when one word or phrase becomes a buzz in the line of business. In the area of modern-day marketing, the buzz word is INBOUND MARKETING.
Inbound marketing is a term coined by the co-founder of Hubspot Brian Halligan which simply means the process of naturally attracting customers by providing quality, relevant and educative content on your website. It also incorporates content in the form of eBooks, videos, Webcasts, blog posts, white papers, SEO and social media marketing.
Inbound marketing is, however, gaining grounds and is taking over (outbound marketing) traditional form of marketing in Ghana. Outbound marketing is a one-way form of communication with the consumer via billboards, radio, TV, magazines, and newspapers.
Outbound marketing is permission based. This means you are asking your audience to have a look at your product when they are also busy doing other activities such as washing, cooking or even watching a Kumawood movie (Part 1-12). This makes selling to them very tedious and challenging especially when the consumer isn’t familiar with your brand or product.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is very interactive with the use of proper strategy and methodology. Feeding your consumers with educative materials such as eBooks, blog posts and white papers will give value to them before they start doing business with you. Every company is different so does its clients hence a different methodology is used for every company to reach their appropriate clients.
We have used this strategy for ourselves and our clients and we are positive that this is the future of marketing in Ghana.
THE INBOUND MARKETING METHODOLOGY
The #Inboundmarketing methodology has four main components namely Attract, Convert, Close and… Click To Tweet
The first strategy as an inbound marketer is to attract your potential clients. Not everyone can be your customer; hence you need to attract the right clients who have interest in your product or brand. Such customers are called Buyer Personas. They have your brand at heart and therefore you can build your business around them. Attracting visitors to your website can be done via blogging, effective SEO, landing pages, and social media engagements, promotions, freebies etc.
- Blogging: A blog is one of the best ways to attract visitors to your website. You have to write blog posts that are educative and will attract clients by answering their questions.
- SEO: A properly optimized website is very easy to find when your clients go online. To have a good SEO ranking, you need to carefully pick your keywords, optimize your images and content, and build links around the terms your clients use.
- Landing Pages: Your website is the digital section of your business; as a result, it needs to appeal to your clients by turning it into an educative platform with lots of pages to read from.
- Social publishing: Inbound marketing is all about relevant content. You can therefore share this valuable content on social media platforms. This can help you interact and engage with your clients on the platforms they are most active on. Interaction with clients will help put a human face to your brand hence making them know they are not paying money to a robot.
After attracting your clients, you don’t just let them go (that will be like throwing the fish back into the river). It’s now time to convert your visitors into leads.
This can be done by collecting and gathering their contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers etc. When it comes to inbound marketing, contact information is as important as a gold mine. Some of the ways to convert visitors into leads are
- Calls to action: These are buttons that encourage visitors to take actions such as Download this Infograhic or Request free consultation. You won’t generate a lot of leads if you don’t have enough calls to action buttons on your website for visitors to engage.
- Forms: In order to collect visitors data, they need to fill a form. The form needs to be simple, short and straight to the point. Visitors will feel reluctant to fill lengthy forms when it’s not a form for visa application.
- Landing pages: A landing page is where the offer in your Call to Action leads to. When visitors click on the call to action buttons, it sends them to the landing page where you collect their contact information before giving them the offer.
You have attracted the visitors and converted them into leads which mean you are on the right track. It’s now time to convert them into customers. There are marketing tools that can be used to achieve this.
- Emails: Some leads can be stubborn. They will give you their emails but still don’t want to be your clients. A series of emails filled with relevant content to such a lead can make him or her gain trust in your product and become a client.
- CRM: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system that easily facilitates sales by providing you with the right information. This information will help you target your leads with the right data to help convert them into clients.
- Marketing Automation: This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and life cycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded an infographic or eBook on a certain topic from your website in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter or like your Facebook page and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.
The final stage of the inbound methodology is to delight your clients. What is the point in making your client go home sad after going through all the stress to win them. Making a client happy will keep you in business because they will be ambassadors for your brand and bring in more clients. Delighting your clients can be achieved via
- Social monitoring: Engage your clients on social media, listen to their comments, queries, likes and dislikes and try as much as possible to address them within the shortest possible time.
- Surveys: Asking your clients how they feel about your product or service is the best way to determine if you are in their good books or not.
- Smart text: This can be done by giving existing clients relevant content tailored to their interest. You can also introduce new products to them in the same medium.
With the growth in technology, inbound marketing has become the best marketing strategy to help create greater opportunities. Mastering the strategy will help you convert visitors into clients. Inbound marketing doesn’t come easy. It is something you need to do daily with the right team, tools and strategies to achieve the right results.
If you are already using inbound marketing for your company, we will like to know how you are doing. If you are not, we will love to help.